Three Batterys walk into a hall…
Alkaline Trio @ Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone
21st February 2005
Twas a dark winters evening, snow forecast for the night and the car had only just been repaired as me, my co-gigmeister Mr Flowers, and faithful followers ChrisOh! and Rich trekked into chavsville to watch Alkaline Trio. The journey was fun and the hills proved a worthy adversary for the beast’s roaring engine :P After flying down what can only be described as a bat cave we popped out into Folkestone and continued on our merry way around to the exact map location Google maps provided us with. Here is where things got a bit tricky… after heading to the seafront to head along to the venue as said on the map we find the road blocked off, actually there wasn’t even a road!! It was then when I located where we were heading… further down the seafront but up on top of a ruddy great cliff (I know what your thinking, Leas “Cliff” Hall, obvious hey, doh!). To our credit the postcode given to up by the web also covers the bottom of the cliff, hence we were 800 ft below our destination, oops. 2 more U turns later and we managed to find some signposts quickly followed by the venue, and parked up in the boy racer car park populated by 17 year olds in their scrapheap nova’s
After a wholly entertaining journey with my TRUSTY Navigator Flowers in the co-drivers seat we headed out to the venue. The queue was beyond a joke for a bitter February evening, so as all good students with a good instinct…we found the closest bar. This just so happened to be about 80 yards away, result. Of course me driving i was resorted to cokes but at least it was warm. After the queue died away we headed over and into the hall which is a great deal better than i had expected. It is probably the second biggest indoor venue I’ve been to, tying with the Corn Exchange in Brighton. This size meant it wasn’t filled to the rafters with people and breathing space was readily available, always a plus.
The warm up band were The Zico Chain. These guys I couldn’t really classify, they played a meld of punk and metal with a lot of screamy vocals. The bands sounds was good but their lack of invention when it came to riffs and melodies was evident. After 30 seconds of the opening track i realised they were laying new lyrics to a sped up metal version of T-Rex’s classic Twentieth Century Boy. This was by far the best of the set which says quite a lot about what followed.
After a change of sides (left side, always the best) the Alkaline Three casually strolled on and yielded their weapons of noise. They started off with two of their most famous tracks, “Private Eye” and “Mercy Me”. The vocals were slightly weak on these openers but yet with the crowd hopping you couldn’t but enjoy it. This did however leave me with the feeling, bugger that’s all I know gone already and its only 2 tracks into the set. They ploughed on with some older material which i was unfamiliar with but the amusing face the singer made when reaching those high notes kept me chuckling. These were solidly performed and were very good. Towards the end of the set Tracks such as “Burn” and “Dethbed” from their latest offering ‘Crimson’ were excellent and really finished the set on a high. The two set encore is where it really came alive tho, “Time to Waste” was perfect and full of energy and enthusiasm. The piece de resistance was a track I’d never heard called “Radio” but it was brilliant. The gig started off a bit slowly and I feel the set list could have been tweaked slightly. But it only got better with time and these guys really lit up the south coast this evening.
(A few poor quality photos still to come when I finally get them of my crappy phone!)